Best Singles of Each Artist: Vol. 5

You know the drill:

1. Pink Floyd
2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon)
3. Nirvana
5. Lynyrd Skynyrd
6. Neil Young (solo work)
7. The Violent Femmes
8. Duran Duran
9. Marvin Gaye
10. Buddy Holly

31 thoughts on “Best Singles of Each Artist: Vol. 5

  1. 1. Pink Floyd
    Wish you were here (I love the moment the second guitar comes in over the recorded guitar. It takes me back to the first time I heard this song, every time I hear it)

    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon)
    The Boxer (the little tweedly-deeing after talking about the girls)

    3. Nirvana
    Smells like Teen Spirit (I don’t think they ever really topped this and plus this song defined a decade of rock)

    4. ABBA
    Take a Chance on Me (All the good things about ABBA in one convenient song)

    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Free Bird (Southern Rock is really about excess and no song is more excessive than Free Bird)

    6. Neil Young (solo work)
    Heart of Gold (I confess that I don’t know as much Neil Young as I should. And I’m gettin’ old)

    7. The Violent Femmes
    Kiss off (pure teen angst and anger) (I changed my mind)

    8. Duran Duran
    Rio (I like the tonal shift this takes right before the chorus each time)

    9. Marvin Gaye
    Piece of Clay (My wife thinks this is a creepy song; I think it just states a basic truth)

    10. Buddy Holly
    Oh Boy! (I got no notes. I just love this song. Honestly Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly seem a couple of decades ahead of their time)

  2. 1. The knee-jerk reaction is to just yell out “Comfortably Numb” because really, it’s a masterpiece. But I’ve always loved the whole Animals album- and with Floyd, it’s hard to pick a single, because the albums are basically all taken as wholes. I also want to sneak in “Great Gig in the Sky” with Torry’s improv vocals… which is a long way of not answering the question at all, I suppose. :)

    2. The Sound of Silence
    3. Heart Shaped Box
    4. Fernando
    5. Simple Man
    6. Heart of Gold
    7. –
    8. –
    9. Let’s Get it On
    10. Not Fade Away

  3. 1. Pink Floyd – probably Have A Cigar or Wish You Were Here.
    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) – The Boxer.
    3. Nirvana – Spank Thru. NOT the unplugged version–this version:

    4. ABBA – Take A Chance On Me I guess, can’t think of any other songs
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
    6. Neil Young (solo work) – Cinnamon Girl
    7. The Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
    8. Duran Duran – Usually I’d say Save A Prayer but right now I’m really feeling Nightboat:

    9. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    10. Buddy Holly – That’ll be the Day

  4. 1. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here. I’m actually not a big Pink Floyd fan, most of their stuff sounds so similar, other than the hits I feel like I’m listening to the same thing over and over.
    2. Simon and Garfunkel – Only Living Boy In New York. A beautiful song, one of my all time favorites.
    3. Nirvana – Smells like Teen Spirit. I remember hearing it for the first time as I walked past a car in my high school parking lot and actually turning around to go ask the guy who it was.
    4. ABBA – Dancing Queen. My parents listened to ABBA on their reel-to-reel and we’d all get up and dance during this one.
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Comin’ Home
    6. Neil Young (solo work) – The Needle and the Damage Done
    7. The Violent Femmes _Kiss Off. The love version is best.
    8. Duran Duran – New Moon on Monday
    9. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    10. Buddy Holly – Weezer. Oh, ok. Everyday I guess.

  5. 1. Floyd: Us and Them. (On the Turning Away is a close second) There’s so many great Floyd though.

    2. Simon and Garfunkle: Cecilia. What a disturbing song although I guess it reflects the age it was written in. But what a catchy melody.

    3. Nirvana: Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Hard choice. I nearly put Something in the Way or the Negative Creep. But that Leadbelly cover from Unplugged is just so haunting.

    4. ABBA: Hmm. I didn’t have any Abba in iTunes to listen to in order to judge. Take a Chance on Me is the only one I can recall liking. But despite my Swedish heritage I’m not a fan of even Swedish disco.

    5. Lynard Skynyrd: Free Bird. (Sweet Home Alabama is such a good song but the message is just so foul in some ways that I just can’t in conscience vote it)

    6. Neil Young: Harvest Moon (Unplugged version) Man I love that song.

    7. Violent Femmes: Gone Daddy Gone. It used to be Country Death Song and then I had little girls and now I can’t even remotely listen to that song.

    8. Duran Duran: Please Please Tell Me Now. This is one of those bands I loved as a kid and now am embarrassed about. However most of the stuff I’m embarrassed about I don’t have in playlists. Duran Duran I still break out occasionally.

    9. Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing

    10. Buddy Holly: Listen to Me

  6. Also I think it’s kind of funny, jjohnsen, you say Pink Floyd all sounds the same to you. Listen to a song like “Time,” where the song keeps changing and sounding different throughout…

    But I know what you mean. They definitely have a signature sound.

  7. 1. Pink Floyd – I’ve always loved Another Brick in the Wall Part 1 and Us and Them. I’ll name those my favorite.

    3. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

    4. ABBA – I’m A Marionette

    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird

    6. Neil Young (solo work) – War of Man

    8. Duran Duran – Rio

    I don’t really listen to the other ones.

  8. Clark,
    Think of Cecilia as a prayer to St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. Perhaps then it is a little more palatable.

  9. Listen to Meddle, my favorite Floyd album. A lot of diversity on that album ranging from blues (Seamus, used famously in the film version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead) to a quasi broadway jazz tune with San Tropez. It’s also the first of the albums to have that signature Floyd instrumental sound with One of These Days that became characteristic of their stuff until Animals and The Wall. (Interestingly David Gilmour does most of the vocals on the album)

  10. I forgot about “On the Turning Away”- that’s a hearbreakingly beautiful song. My first Floyd album was Ummagumma. See, I think all the Cure sounds the same, and I adore Floyd… :)

  11. Dan,
    Claiming ignorance of Simon and Garfunkel is sufficient to cause McQ to write a post devoted to your education. Ditto Buddy Holly.

  12. 1. Pink Floyd: Shine On You Crazy Diamond
    2. Simon and Garfunkel: Keep the Customer Satisfied
    3. Nirvana: Lithium
    4. ABBA: The Day Before You Came
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird
    6. Neil Young:Like a Hurricane
    7. The Violent Femmes: American Music
    8. Duran Duran: Save a Prayer
    9. Marvin Gaye: Got to Give it Up
    10. Buddy Holly: Rave On

  13. My favorite Cure songs are the dark and depressing ones, like “Sinking.” (“The Kiss” is probably my all time fave, so awesome and psychedelic.) Then they do those lighthearted cutesy songs like “Friday” or –what’s that popular one? From Head on the Door? “Close to Me.”

    Robert Smith’s voice can grate on me at times. I am slightly biased about the Cure, though, since I met my husband at a Cure concert. :)

  14. 1. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb & Us and Them are virtually tied in my book, but since Us and Them is already getting votes, I will cast mine for Comfortably Numb.
    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) – Bleecker Street
    3. Nirvana – bzzzt
    4. ABBA – Take a Chance on Me
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (and yes, Watergate does bother me)
    6. Neil Young (solo work)- After the Gold Rush (although others have performed it better). But if by “solo work”, you just mean without Crosby, Stills, and/or Nash, my vote would go to Round and Round (It Won’t Be Long), which was technically recorded with Crazy Horse, although Robin Lane’s contribution to that song is more critical. And I see that whoever wrote the Wikipedia article on Crazy Horse is also claiming After the Gold Rush as one of theirs, so just give it to Round and Round.
    7. The Violent Femmes – Jesus Walking on the Water. (Our friends at Wikipedia insist that this is a straightforwardly devout song, of which I had been highly skeptical.)
    8. Duran Duran – Rio, I suppose
    9. Marvin Gaye – I Heard it Through the Grapevine (possibly the best R&B song ever written)
    10. Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue

  15. 1. Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here” – I just heard for the first time in a while the other day and immediately put on my iPod. It’s a great song.
    2. Simon and Garfunkel “The Boxer” – One my all-time faves.
    3. Nirvana – “Heart Shaped Box” – Didn’t understand the “Teen Spirit” love when it came out, and I still don’t get it today.
    4. ABBA – Uh….
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – SImple Man. One of those songs that you end up belting out at the top of your lungs when nobody’s else is around. What? You guys don’t do that?
    6. Neil Young (solo work)
    7. The Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
    8. Duran Duran – “Ordinary World” – I actually like the stuff they did later on quite a bit.
    9. Marvin Gaye – Tough call but I’ll go with “Sexual Healing”. BTW, I think Ben Harper did a pretty good job on his cover of the song:

    10. Buddy Holly

  16. I just didn’t see the connection between Watergate and Sweet Home Alabama. But I checked the lyrics and there is one line about it. Sorry. For some reason every time I’ve heard that song I heard “Watergate” as something else.

  17. 1. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (live, 13:35 minutes!)
    2. Simon and Garfunkel – Sounds of Silence
    3. Nirvana – In Bloom
    4. ABBA – Take a Chance on Me
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird! (holds up lighter)
    6. Neil Young – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Cheating) Uh, Rockin in the free world?
    7. The Violent Femmes – Kiss Off (should have been #8)
    8. Duran Duran – The Chauffeur (siiiiiiing, blue silver!)
    9. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing, I guess.
    10. Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue

  18. 1. Pink Floyd – Lucifer Sam

    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) – Bridge Over Troubled Water

    3. Nirvana – Sliver

    4. ABBA – S.O.S.

    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – On the Hunt

    6. Neil Young (solo work) – Powderfinger

    7. The Violent Femmes – pass

    8. Duran Duran – Girls on Film

    9. Marvin Gaye — Got to Give It Up

    10. Buddy Holly – Rave On

  19. I am in agreement with others here on several songs. Here is my list.

    1. Pink Floyd — “Wish You Were Here”. (How can that be beat?)

    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) — I always like “Cecilia”

    3. Nirvana — I love the bass line in “Come As You Are”

    4. ABBA — I think I gotta agree with “SOS”

    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd — “FREEBIRD!!!” (The chant everyone who has gigged in a bar has heard. I only vote for the second half of the song though)

    6. Neil Young (solo work) — “Cinnamon Girl”

    7. The Violent Femmes — “Kiss Off” (Too good to not choose. These guys end up being 10x more punk rock with acoustic instruments than most pop-punk bands do with the amps turned up to 11.)

    8. Duran Duran — I actually like “Come Undone” believe it or not.

    9. Marvin Gaye — “What’s Going On”

    10. Buddy Holly — I guess I’ll go with “That’ll Be The Day” like Susan

  20. 1. Pink Floyd – Take It Back
    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) – The Sounds of Silence
    3. Nirvana – All Apologies
    4. ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama!
    6. Neil Young (solo work) – Keep on Rockin in the Free World
    7. The Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun is the only song I can think of
    8. Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf
    9. Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
    10. Buddy Holly – That’ll Be the Day is the only song I can think of.

  21. 1. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    2. Simon and Garfunkel (no solo Simon) – never have listened to much, but I appreciate both The Boxer and Sounds of Silence as great songs
    3. Nirvana – In Bloom has always been my favorite; Come as you Are is their best
    4. ABBA – Take a Chance on Me
    5. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesday’s Gone
    6. Neil Young (solo work) – Rockin’ in the Free World
    7. The Violent Femmes – Kiss Off
    8. Duran Duran – I’m a little saddened that people are embarrased about this one. I’ll stand by John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, and company to the end as phenomenal songwriters – Save a Prayer
    9. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (one of the all time greatest songs to dance to)
    10. Buddy Holly – That’ll be the Day

  22. Indeed I am Susan.

    On a similar note: I could have sworn I had heard every Duran Duran song ever released (at least pre-2005). Hadn’t heard Nightboat before. Turns out I’ve never listened to their first album start to finish.

    I have my weekend homework.

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